Gifts for the Homeless (GFTH), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, is a wholly volunteer-run organization that serves the homeless of the Washington, D.C. area in two ways. First, during the group’s clothing drive one weekend each December, GFTH solicits used clothing from area law firms, corporate legal departments, government legal personnel, non-profits, community groups, offices, and individuals to donate to GFTH. GFTH reaches out to 70 plus shelters to determine their individual needs to aim to provide them that the items that are needed to serve each of their individual populations (such as women’s clothes for women’s shelters, men’s clothes for men’s transitional housing, etc.). Typically, more than 300 volunteers during the course of the weekend help sort, bag and deliver the thousands of clothing donations – which include sweaters, coats, hats, gloves sleeping bags, blankets, pants, shoes, and boots – rendering much needed help for those in shelters and soup kitchens and who receive services from homeless outreach providers.
Second, GFTH solicits funds, which it uses to purchase essential new items of warm clothing, including coats, long underwear, hats, blankets, gloves, underwear, and socks. The funds GFTH recieves from public donors are used to purchase and distribute new clothing for area shelters, soup kitchens, transitional housing and other homeless service providers who depend on us each year. All donations are tax-deductible.
GFTH donates used clothing to over 70 shelters or other organizations serving the needy in the D.C. area each year, and approximately 30 organizations receive new clothing donations. Donations are made to transitional shelters, shelters sponsored by local churches, a home for men with AIDS, shelters for battered women and children – and with 1600 beds – the largest shelter for men, women, and children in Washington, D.C. GFTH has no “favorite” shelter or chosen clientele. Rather, all of DC’s homeless are potentially beneficiaries of the gifts that, with your assistance, GFTH can provide.
GFTH is governed by a 20 plus member board of directors and a number of officers. In addition, each participating law firm or legal organization designates a person to act as a volunteer coordinator. These individuals coordinate the collection of used clothing and monetary donations and help recruit volunteers for the clothing drive.
Since GFTH has no paid staff and no overhead, every single dollar that GFTH receives from public donations is used to purchase and distribute new clothes for the various shelters. All of the group’s expenses, including postage, supplies for the used clothing drive, food and refreshments, and even the cost of maintaining this web site, are paid for and provided by area law firms, vendors, or members of the board of directors. In this way, GFTH maximizes the value of all donations made.